Reviewing a College Application in Just 8 Minutes?

It was rather shocking to read recently in the Wall Street Journal, that admissions officers at approximately 30 elite colleges read applications in eight minutes!

Because so many more students are submitting applications, the workload for individual readers has become oppressive. Instead, staffers now divvy up individual applications:

“One person might review transcripts, test scores and counselor recommendations, while the other handles extracurricular activities and essays.

They read through their portions simultaneously, discuss their impressions about a candidate’s qualifications, flag some for admission or rejection, and move on. While their decision isn’t always final, in many cases theirs are the last eyes to look at the application itself.”

So, how does one stand out in eight minutes?

Admissions officials and high-school counselors say that students should tell a coherent story across essays, transcript and activities.

This is where can really set a student apart.

In our program, we delve into students’ interests, strategize the types of internships that would match those interests and match them to an internship in that field. This is the first step in creating a coherent story. Once on the internship, students respond to a few directed journal questions that serve as the beginning of college essays.

For example, Cornell:

Describe two or three of your current intellectual interests and why they are exciting to you. Why will Cornell’s College of Arts and Sciences be the right environment in which to pursue your interests?

Here, you would describe those interests, talk about your related internship and mention a field of study or college major that you would be interested in. Not only are you mentioning that interest, but you have shown that you’ve already pursued that interest, even as a high school student.

So, for our students, 8 minutes can be enough time to make an impression!

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